Council greenlights 2024 budget with 5.5 per cent tax increase

Council has given its approval for the 2024 budget, marking a 5.5 per cent increase in the Town of Fort Erie’s share of residential property taxes. For the median household, this translates to an additional annual cost of $13.94.

When factoring in levies from the Niagara Region and the boards of education, the overall increase for residential taxpayers in Fort Erie stands at 5.16 per cent. The decision on the budget aligns with the strategic priorities set by council, covering crucial aspects such as access to primary and urgent health care, quality of life, sustainable and managed growth, economic prosperity and diversification, environmental and climate change resiliency, and comprehensive housing options.

The approved budget allocates funds for various initiatives within these priority areas. This includes support for physician recruitment, parks development, incentive programs for new industry and affordable housing, infrastructure renewal, and shoreline protection.

With an operating budget of $34.4 million, the Town aims to deliver essential services while expanding strategic areas like the reserve for development charges exemptions. This is intended to fund industrial growth businesses and provide additional staffing for enhanced services in planning and development services. Some of the approved items under the operating budget include staffing costs for positions like junior municipal law enforcement officer, executive assistant to the director, community coordinator, and asset management analyst.

In addition to the operating budget, council also gave the green light to the 2024 capital budget and the 2025 to 2034 forecast. The capital budget encompasses 75 projects, totaling $27,613,661, covering areas such as roads, bridges, sidewalks, water, wastewater, parks, and facilities. Notable projects include a $4 million allocation for the Gibson Centre vehicle bay expansion, $3.5 million for West Main Street storm sewer replacement, and $1.7 million for the Point Abino municipal drain.

Credit: Town of Fort Erie | Facebook

On December 18, 2023, council previously approved Fort Erie’s 2024 water and wastewater budget, amounting to $23,388,330. This budget aims to uphold high standards of service delivery, albeit with a cost increase of 7.4 per cent or $9.82 per month for the average household.

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